Public lands advocates rally, testify for outdoor access funding

Nearly 500 public land advocates rallied in sub-zero temperatures on the steps of the Capitol Thursday to voice support for conservation funding and Montana’s constitutional guarantee of a clean and healthful environment.

Public land rallies have become a fixture during legislative sessions, drawing large crowds in opposition to proposals such as transferring federal lands to the state and selling public lands into private hands. Thursday’s rally featured multiple speakers and chants of “It’s our right” in response prompts of public lands, clean water and wildlife.

“Wilderness includes people, it includes us,” said Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe and founder of Indigikitchen. “All of that is part of wild Montana. The writers of the Montana Constitution knew this, that’s why we have the right to a clean and healthful environment, not just for ourselves, but for our future.”

Read more from the Helena Independent Republic here...

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